FedEx is predicting a record holiday season, but one that looks a little different than previous ones, according to CNBC. In fact, the carrier predicts they will deliver 100 million more packages than they did in pre-pandemic 2019.
But what does this mean to FedEx Ground route owners?
People Started Shopping Earlier This Year
First, one of the first things carriers saw was that Americans, in general, started Christmas shopping even earlier this year and started shipping in October. Whether this was due to dire warnings by the USPS and other carriers about delays and reduced capacity, or just a sense of urgency to “get this year over with” or COVID concerns is still unclear.
What we do know is that consumers spent more money online, many shipped gifts directly to recipients, and they spent more money than the 2020 holiday.
FedEx Added Capacity, So Did Contractors
In anticipation of a busy season, FedEx and other carriers added staff and capacity to deal with the surge. So did many contractors, adding supplemental, temporary drivers and even additional rental trucks.
While this adds to overhead, it helps to keep them on top of the busy season, and able to provide the same great customer service they’ve been giving their customers all year long.
Supply Chain Woes May Mean Some Late Holiday Deliveries
Even though customers ordered earlier than ever before, the supply chain still faces challenges like stuck container ships and a shortage of truck drivers in some areas. What this means is that some goods won’t even reach distribution centers to be shipped until later in the season.
For FedEx route owners, this may mean a surge of late deliveries as goods arrive in warehouses. It may also mean an increased number of pickups as we move through December. While the second and third weeks in December are usually the busiest, contractors and customers should be prepared for a final Christmas and even New Year’s push as businesses play catch up.
Holiday Season is the Most Profitable (Usually)
Lastly, while the busiest season of the year adds some stress for everyone, and especially for FedEx route owners and other delivery personnel, this is also usually the most profitable time of year. How can route owners be sure expenses don’t take all this profit while still maintaining their sanity? There are a few important methods.
First, hire for the season. Whether that is in the form of runners to help your drivers complete deliveries faster or even additional drivers. If you are considering purchasing a route, keep this in mind for your planning. If you are a contractor who did not do this already this season, plan for it next year.
Prepare yourself and your drivers. This will be a time of overtime, extra hours, and more deliveries than normal. Be mentally and physically ready.
Check your vehicles. Maintenance is super important this time of year, as a breakdown can put a real wrench in things. Be over-vigilant of any issues and be prepared with backup or rental vehicles just in case something happens.
Check your people. This is also a cold season, and a time when flu and other illnesses tend to strike. Someone who is tired and stressed is also more likely to get sick. Be sure your drivers are taking reasonable precautions, hydrating, getting the right sleep, and be sure they are equipped to deal with snow, ice, and cold.
Record seasons are good for the bottom line for route business owners, but they come with stresses and long hours, too. But if you plan for them, the season will be smoother and more profitable.
Are you considering buying a FedEx route? Peak season and the profit that can come with it can be a good motivator. Don’t wait. Contact us today and start the conversation about how you, too can become a FedEx Ground route owner, and reap all the benefits that come with it. We’d love to hear from you.